Nervousness rather than excitement will be the overriding emotion for some 80,000 people as the shielding programme is paused for Northern Ireland's most vulnerable from Friday.
After four months confined to their homes, there is still huge anxiety amongst some shielders with underlying health conditions at the prospect of exiting their lockdown.
Michaella Hollywood (30) has been in self isolation in Crossgar with her mum Marie, dad Michael and dog Charlie since March 12.
Having been born with spinal muscular atrophy which affects all her muscles, disability campaigner Michaella is also a ventilator user.
She left home earlier this week for the first time in weeks due to the severe toll shielding has had on her mental health and to avoid the risk of more people being on the streets from Friday.
"I hadn't had so much as a take-away delivered to my door in 20 weeks. While I still don't feel that it is completely safe to go out, having weighed up and the pros and cons it had got to the point where my mental health had to come first.
"I had all the protection that I needed, didn't have to touch anything or go near anyone so it was as safe as it could possibly be.
"I have been wearing a facemask when I go out every winter for the past few years because my sister Martina died in January 1997 when she was almost 15 after contracting the flu.
"I was apprehensive beforehand and had no idea what to expect because unlike other people I haven't had several weeks to get used to things like one way systems.
"It was very overwhelming to go from only seeing the delivery driver every week to actually being with other people again," she said.
Michaella is also urging people to remember that those labelled as 'vulnerable' are not just the elderly.
"I think we should consider having set hours or days for shielders to go out safely and a greater understanding that it's not just older people who are the most vulnerable to this virus," she added.
Mairtin Mac Gabhann and Seph Ni Mheallain from west Belfast have also spent the last four months shielding because their three-year-old son Daithi's heart condition places him in the most vulnerable category.
Seph said the family will take a cautious approach and won't be jumping straight back in integrating with the public.
"We are just far too anxious at the moment. Yes we'll take him out for walks to try and get a bit of normality back but it definitely won't be the same. For instance bringing him to the playpark won't happen any time soon," she added.
"This isn't over for us. We are very conscious that there could be a second wave in the coming months.
"Yes there have been few deaths here of late but the threat is still there, it hasn't gone away.
"That will sit constantly in the back of our minds."
The Ballymurphy tot is waiting on a heart transplant due to a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Daithi was born with half a working heart with the left side not forming correctly in the womb.
Mairtin added: "We would appeal to the public to keep the more vulnerable in mind. We've got this far so don't let your guard down and please be vigilant.
"One of my major concerns is that some people don't view Covid-19 as a massive threat and it might not be to those individuals but that reminds me of a survival of the fittest mentality rather than a 'we're all in this together' mentality.
"I'd urge people to remain alert and remain careful. You could help save a life at the end of the day."
Empathising with their fellow shielders, Seph added: "Normal life hasn't resumed for us and not for a lot of people. Daithi is already very sick, he's waiting on a heart transplant, we have that worry and then you have Covid on top of that. It was a lot to take in and I don't think we ever fully adjusted to it.
"Now we have even more anxiety as we're starting to come out of lockdown and have been leaving the house a bit.
"If you had asked me a month ago 'do you want to go out and get a coffee?' I would have said 'yes'. But now that it's happening I'm nervous. I have hand sanitiser everywhere, trying to make sure that we don't go to places where there are too many people. A lot of that is unpredictable so that adds to the anxiety as well."